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1.  Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Health 
BMC Women's Health  2004;4(Suppl 1):S23.
Health Issue
The average age of natural menopause in Western societies is estimated to be 51 years; women in Canada can therefore expect to live, on average, a third of their lives in post-menopausal years. During these years women are at increased risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Key Findings
Clinical and epidemiological data on women in perimenopause are limited. There are no adequate Canadian data on symptom severity and prevalence among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Scientific evidence is lacking to support or refute claims that commonly used botanical products can offer therapeutic relief of menopausal symptoms.
Recent data from the Women's Health Initiative suggest that combined estrogen plus therapy increases the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and breast cancer. Hormone therapy is no longer recommended for the prevention of chronic diseases for asymptomatic women. Stroke is an important issue for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women and sex differences may exist in the progestin treatment of stroke. Osteoporosis affects an estimated one in six women over the age of 50.
Data Gaps and Recommendations
There is a need to conduct clinical and epidemiological research aimed at better understanding the menopausal transition and defining its clinical phases. Investigations aimed at alternative combinations and doses of hormone therapy and non-pharmaceutical alternatives in light of known risks and benefits are also necessary. Health care practitioners and women need to be educated on the risks and effective treatment related to cardiovascular disease so they can present for treatment more quickly and receive the most effective therapies.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-4-S1-S23
PMCID: PMC2096694  PMID: 15345086
3.  Breast cancer survival by teaching status of the initial treating hospital 
Background
A number of studies have documented variation in treatment patterns by treatment setting or by region. In order to better understand how treatment setting might affect survival, we compared the survival outcomes of women with node-negative breast cancer who were initially treated at teaching hospitals with those of women initially treated at community hospitals.
Methods
We constructed a retrospective cohort consisting of a random sample of 938 cases, initially diagnosed in 1991, drawn from the Ontario Cancer Registry. Exposure was defined by the type of hospital in which the initial breast cancer surgery was performed. Outcomes were ascertained through follow-up of vital statistics.
Results
The crude 5-year survival rate was 88.7% for women who had their initial surgery in a community hospital and 92.5% for women who had their initial surgery in a teaching hospital. Women in higher income neighbourhoods experienced better survival at 5 years regardless of which type of hospital they were treated in. Multivariate proportional hazards regression modelling demonstrated a 53% relative reduction in risk of death among women with tumours less than or equal to 20 mm in diameter who were treated at a teaching hospital (relative risk [RR] = 0.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23–0.96), whereas among those with larger tumours there was no demonstrated difference in survival (RR = 1.32, 95% CI 0.73–2.32). Other variables that were significant in the model were age at diagnosis, estrogen receptor status and the use of radiation therapy.
Interpretation
Women with node-negative breast cancer and tumours less than or equal to 20 mm in diameter who were initially seen at a teaching hospital had significantly better survival than women with similar tumours who were initially seen at a community hospital. Survival among women with larger tumours was not statistically significantly different for the 2 types of hospital.
PMCID: PMC80677  PMID: 11332310

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